Islamabad: Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has announced a special relief package amounting to PKR 1.2 trillion with an aim to provide relief to citizens struggling under the country’s economic crunch accrued in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a news source reported. The special package promised for the construction sector – which he indicated had not previously been ‘seen in Pakistan’s history’ – will be announced within a few days.
The PM shared the details on these relief offerings during a press conference today (March 24).
The key highlights of the package are as follows:
- PKR 3,000 monthly aid will be given individually to over 10.2 million Pakistanis for four months
- Interest and principal payments will be deferred
- Petrol, diesel, light diesel, and kerosene oil prices will be slashed down by PKR 15/liter
- Funds worth PKR 50 billion will be earmarked for utility stores
- Concession loans, deferred interest payments, and a PKR 100 billion fund, will be allocated for the agriculture sector and small-and-medium scale enterprises
- Expansion of existing shelter homes to accommodate more people
- Tax refunds worth PKR 100 billion will be issued immediately for the export sector and related industries to help them pay their laboursers
- Electricity consumers using up to 300 units and gas consumers with monthly bills of up to PKR 2,000 can pay their dues in installments spanning 3 months
- Tax on food items will be abolished or reduced
- Funds worth PKR 50 billion will be set aside to purchase needed medical supplies
- Funds worth PKR 100 billion will be reserved to deal with emergency situations – and to counter any potential lockdowns and their after effects
- Funds worth PKR 25 billion will be allocated to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to purchase COVID-19 testing kits and related supplies
In his concluding remarks, the PM appealed to citizens to cooperate with the government in its efforts to stop the further spread of the coronavirus by remaining indoors.